A Fit Man looking at a sports shaker containing a pre-workout powder drink

What Does a Pre-Workout Do: The 5 Main Benefits of Taking It

You’re here because you want to find out about the benefits of pre-workout supplements and get answers to questions like “What do they do?”, “Are they good for you?” and “Do Pre-Workout Supplements actually work?”.

So let’s skip all of the unnecessary fluff and get straight to the point!

What is a Pre-Workout?

Pre-workout supplements are a type of sports nutrition products that you specifically take before any strenuous physical activity or exercise. They are mostly associated with the gym, but can effectively be taken prior to any other sort of intensive training like calisthenics, HIIT exercise, Cross-Fit, etc.

Generally, you can divide them into two distinct categories: those that contain stimulants and stimulant free pre-workout supplements.

Bodybuilders and athletes love them for many different and compelling reasons, and you can check them out by going to this article titled What is a Pre-Workout Supplement and 4 Reasons to Take It.

What Do Pre-Workout Supplements Do?

Several pre-workout and sports nutrition supplements next to a shaker

These supplements increase your performance when exercising!

They boost your strength, give you more energy, increase your stamina and help your muscles work better and harder than normal, effectively increasing their development.

Exactly how they work and the benefits that they provide depend solely on the ingredients that each particular pre-workout supplement contains.

Also, the products are certainly not created equal, and each of them differs in quality and the quantity as well as the synergy of their ingredients – so effects and benefits may slightly vary.

You can find the specific pre-workout supplements for men in this 10 Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Men article and the ones for women by going here: The Top 10 Pre-Workout Supplements for Women.

How Pre-Workouts Work

The effects of these products are entirely due to their ingredients. The most common are:

Caffeine – A stimulant which produces heat in your body, increases your metabolism and perks up your central nervous system making you more focused and alert. It is well studied, and those who are interested in the full facts, effects, and benefits of caffeine can easily find an abundance of readily available information about it on the internet.

Creatine – A substance with over 200 relevant scientific studies under its belt and the love and adoration of the vast majority of bodybuilders on the planet. It is naturally made in the body and is used to quickly provide your muscles with energy for high-force and burst movements.

Isolated Amino Acids – There are over 20 different amino acids, but the most commonly used are BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) because they are the essential building blocks of muscles and an integral part of muscle tissue. They help with muscle recovery, development, and also increase both strength and performance.

Citrulline Malate – This is a naturally-occurring amino acid in your body that plays important roles in reducing lactic acid formation, enhancing muscle pumps, increasing growth hormone release and improving the utilization of BCAAs. It also improves your general energy levels.

Nitric-Oxide – This substance is a vascular dilator that increases blood flow to your muscles, thus increasing their capacity for performance.

Beta-Alanine – Yet another non-essential amino acid that’s overwhelmingly popular in most pre-workout supplements on the market, because it provides your muscles with optimal working conditions by maintaining optimal PH levels and combating its acidity.

There are many more ingredients to be found in these types of products – more than 30 even! However, these 6 tend to be the most common ones and are usually included in almost every such product on the market.

For further information, please refer to our Pre-Workout Supplements Guide: Facts, Benefits and Side Effects article.

The Benefits of Taking It

A fit and sporty couple doing exercises on the floor with medicine balls

There are numerous pre-workout benefits that you need to be aware of. However, the primary and all-encompassing ones are better performance and faster results!

The Main Benefits are:

  • Better muscle strength, power and pump
  • More rapid and efficient muscle recovery and repair
  • Stronger weight-loss and fat-burning effect due to increased metabolism
  • More endurance, energy, and focus
  • Convenience and cost-effectiveness!

These are the important benefits. There are, of course, several other benefits stemming from the various ingredients included in the supplement, but it would be impractical to list them all.

Finally, if you are, by any chance, concerned whether pre-workouts are good for you and should you take them, please refer to the 7 Potential Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements.

Given the abundance of ingredients, here are several uses for pre-workouts:

Building Muscle: 

The main thing that helps build and develop your muscles are the BCAAs, Creatine, Glutamine, Carnitine, Beta-Alanine, Nitric Oxide and Betaine.

Strength Increase: 

The primary factor for strength increase is the Creatine, Nitric Oxide, and Beta-Alanine.

Energy Increase:

The ingredients that impact your energy levels are Vitamins B, Taurine, Rhodiola Rosea, Tyrosine, Yerba Mate, Schisandra Chinensis and quite obviously, stimulants like Synephrine, Caffeine, and Green Tea Extract.

Brain Function Increase:

DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), Huperzine A and Chole are the ingredients that improve the function of your brain.

Pump Increase:

The substances that significantly increase your muscle pump are GPLC, Citrulline Malate, Arginine, and Pycnogenol.

Fat-Burning Increase:

The weight-loss effect increases significantly from ingredients like Caffeine and Synephrine, as well as Green Tea Extract and even Yohimbe. Many other components also provide an indirect fat-loss effect.

Cardio Performance Increase:

If you want to increase your performance while doing cardio, the following ingredients will give you much-needed help:  Taurine, Vitamins B, BCAA, and Beta-Alanine.

However, you should definitely note that pre-workouts aren’t specially made for cardio, because they contain several diuretics, stimulants, and Creatine – all of which are not the ideal choice to consume if you want to have an effective cardiovascular workout.

Conclusion

Hopefully, we’ve answered what does a pre-workout supplement do and other burning questions that you may have.

These additions to your regular diet have been widely used by the majority of professional bodybuilders and serious gym-goers from all over the world because they simply guarantee tangible results and give you a performance boost that you will genuinely notice.

So what has your experience with taking pre-workout powder been? If you’ve tried some of them, feel free to share your experiences, ideas and stories with us down in the comments below – we’d love to hear them and start a discussion!